Run For Angels
800 runners race for children’s shelter
by Clay Neely
More than 800 runners, walkers and volunteers braved the cold on Saturday and descended upon downtown Newnan to volunteer and participate in the 12th annual Run for Angels 5K/10K road race, 1K fun run and Chicken-Q benefitting the local Angel's House children's shelter.
“I have been working on this race for the past eight years and it continues to grow every year with our race participants,” said Debi Fuchs, 2014 co-chair. “We broke a record with the number of Chicken Q plates, and our sponsorships raised more money than ever before. This community of ours is simply remarkable. People are so supportive of the Angel’s House.”
“It went very well,” said Jill McKnight, co-chair. “Considering the weather we just had, we were all real pleased with the whole post-snowjam turnout. Thanks to Orion, the race company we used, and all the efforts of the board members, the event went like clockwork.”
Participants of the road race spanned in age from toddlers in strollers to 81-year-old Miss Jackie Stallings, who, after breaking her femur in July, walked the 1K Saturday morning.
“I usually walk the 5K,” said Stallings. “But after my accident, my doctor told me not to get my hopes up for the race. I told him that I just can’t miss it. So I did everything I could to ensure that I could participate this year. It’s just something that means so much to me, I couldn’t imagine not being able to be a part of it.”
Tyler Thompson, who placed first in the wheelchair division, participated in the Run for Angels 5K last year but it was in his regular wheelchair.
“The race this year went a lot better than I ever expected it to go,” said Thompson. “With the cold, I haven’t been doing as much training as I should be. But I knew I wanted to do the race. As long as I am able to race, I will make the Run for Angels 5K each year. It’s a very well put together race with great volunteers and lots of selfless runners. If I was needing some help up a hill I didn’t have to ask. Someone was there to help give me a push. Crossing the finishing line for a race is one of the best feelings ever.”
Along with more than 760 race participants, there were also more than 100 volunteers for the event. Bambi Edge, who serves on the board of directors of Angel’s House children’s shelter, was overwhelmed with the turnout and support from the community.
“The 2014 Run for Angels was a huge success,” said Edge. “The proceeds from this race each year literally keep the doors of Angel's House open for the children in our community and beyond in need of a safe place to live. We so appreciate our Title Sponsors — ValuTeachers, Kiwanis Club of Newnan and Atlanta Vascular Specialists, plus all our other 63 sponsors, volunteers, and race participants.
“We had a very successful Chicken-Q,” said Edge. “Co-chairs Jennifer Palmer and Kelley Welden, along with the help of the volunteers, helped sell about 1,500 plates of Chicken-Q from Huckleberry's.”
“With Run for Angel’s being our only annual fundraiser, the success of this event is essential in keeping our doors open to the community’s children in crisis,” said sponsorship co-chair LouAnn Connell.
“The true winners of the day were the children of Angel's House,” said Edge. “What a blessing it is to live in such a caring community.” Angel’s House opened its doors to children on June 21, 2004. Currently licensed to accommodate a maximum of 10 children, there have been from six to 10 children who have been residents since it opened. Some residents only stay temporarily and are later placed with relatives, but an average of seven children live at Angel’s House on a daily basis, officials said.
Many of the children who come to Angel’s House on an emergency basis walk in with only the clothes on their backs. Community support is extremely necessary and deeply appreciated in meeting the needs of these children, officials said. Angel’s House continues to provide emergency shelter for Coweta County Department of Family and Children’s Services “special needs” cases.